Rabbi Thurgood’s message

Rabbi Thurgood’s message

Shalom Lovely Community!

I hope that you’re having a wonderful day and looking forward to a marvellous Shabbat ahead. This week has seen more than a spot of rain which is always great news for the plants and general water supply, but of course we must be conscious of the flooding and rockfalls that result from a downpour. I wrote last week about fire and the way in which it is used as a metaphor for Torah; this week I will observe that water is used by our Sages to represent Chessed – the way in which we give to one another and support and help each other. It is appropriate, therefore, the mention the UJC’s new campaign and competition as they work to provide millions of rands for Jewish community organisations across the city. Video here: https://youtu.be/FCVSc6imrMc and competition details here.

It’s hard for me to believe that I have only two weeks remaining as Rabbi of the community! I’ll certainly miss it.  There are several questions that I receive quite frequently, so I thought I’d do a mini Q and A:

Q: Do we have a new Rabbi yet?

A: Not yet. Our excellent search committee is hard at work to find the very best Rabbinic couple for our community, but we’re not rushing and it will likely be some months before we make an appointment.

Q: Will you still be around?

A: Very much so. I’ll be helping out for some Shabbatot during this interim period – to the extent that I can based on my other commitments, and to the extent that I am needed by our community. Even once we have a new Rabbi, I plan to daven primarily at Morasha although I will also be visiting other community in Cape Town more than I have been previously.

Q: Will you still be a Rabbi once you leave?

A: Indeed, I’m not resigning my smicha, just this position, and I’ll still be as much of a Rabbi as I have been. I am planning a minor rebrand for Herzlia to go from being Rabbi Thurgood to Rabbi Sam.

Q: Will you still be my Rabbi once you leave?

A: I’d be delighted to; although of course when the new Rabbi comes, I will give him whatever space and support he needs.

Q: What’s going to happen with the Rabbi’s discretionary fund?

A: I’ll still run it during the interim period, accepting support from those who can and directing it to those who need. When the new Rabbi starts, he will set up his own discretionary fund, but I’ll make sure that the Chessed and Tzedaka keep happening.

Q: Will you still send your daily Torah Thoughts over WhatsApp?

A: I certainly plan to, although rather than doing it through the Shul I’ll do it as an “independent”. Sponsorships of the Torah Thought from July will therefore go towards my discretionary fund.

Q: What are the plans for Yamim Noraim?

A: We have – thank God – several options and are in the process of finalising our plans regarding Chazzanim and Rabbi. We’ll let you know once they are confirmed.

Q: How are you feeling about the move?

A: Excited but also sad – there is a lot that I will miss. But I think that many of the things I love about this community I will still be able to access and treasure as a member, and I’m excited about this next journey ahead.

Aviva, Shalva, Tzuriya, Azriel, Neriya and I wish you a Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Sam Thurgood